THOOTHUKUDI: A day after Express reported that an earthmover, used by an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) contractor at Adichanallur, damaged at least 10 ancient urns at the archaeological site, an ASI expert on Sunday admitted that several artefacts in a 75-metre stretch had indeed been damaged.
The expert, an official in the rank of assistant archaeologist at ASI, inspected the site along with a colleague and said senior archaeologists would inspect the site on Monday. The official did not want to be named but said that artefacts buried in the soil over a 75-metre stretch along the site’s boundary had been damaged by the earthmover.
On Saturday, an ASI official had told Express that the earthmover was used only for clearing the site. However, sources said that the earthmover had dug a 150-metre-long trench as part of work to erect a see-through fence around the boundary of the site.
The ASI began the fencing process on the direction of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court in 2018. More than 70 per cent of the fencing work has been completed so far, said sources.
The Centre recently announced plans to develop the site, from which artefacts dating to 905 BCE to 696 BCE have been unearthed. It also announced that a museum would be set up at Adichanallur.